Pembroke Pottifer went through his early life with a hang-dog expression – and who could blame him, with a moniker like the one he had! But ‘Pemby’ (to his more recent friends) had other attributes that many guys would trade their family heirlooms for. For one thing, he had the biggest whanger that anyone who had seen it, had seen. And for those of you who haven’t a clue about what a whanger is, keep reading.
Pemby was an old school mate and being boarders at College as we were, nothing about anyone was sacred, so if there was anything odd or unusual among us boarders, rest assured it wouldn’t be secret for long and usually some appropriately descriptive nomdeplume would instantly be assigned, and for the rest of one’s life in College that name would stick – and most likely old mates would refer to one by that tag for the rest of their lives.
As things turned out Pemby was tagged with the nick-name ‘Donga’ the moment he was moved to the senior dorm, where all juniors were moved up to at about the age of thirteen and where undressing and dressing would be done without the aid of a sarong or a towel around the waist. Bathing in the nude in the senior section was also mandatory and the ‘freshers’ who dared to buck the practice were soon sorted out through a variety of methods until they adapted – natural selection in action to be sure – or were ‘selected out’. And so, when Pemby went for his first shower, the boys who were already in there, and those who arrived soon after couldn’t believe their eyes. Naturally the news spread like wildfire and the tag assigned nearly soon after, and whether Pemby, who was very much into drama and art and also pretty good at tennis, was on stage in some play, or playing the championship singles event at the ‘pubs’ tennis tourney, he was always cheered on with the ‘c’mon Donga’ routine. The name stuck through College days and then a few years later we lost contact – until a few weeks ago, that is.
We were sitting at the Bareass Bar the other evening when this guy comes up and says hi. He looks vaguely familiar, but we can’t place the face (we later realized that it was because the hang-dog expression had disappeared) so we say hi in return. He then goes on to ask if we are who we are and when he gets the affirmative response, his face breaks out into a wide grin and he proceeds to tell us that he is Pemby, and that he was certain that it was us -the facial growth and the obvious aging process notwithstanding. I get him a brew, he sits down and we exchange some parts of our lives that took place since those College days. Strange that we had both been in the same part of the States, but had no idea of each other’s whereabouts, although we weren’t far away from each other for most of that time. Getting into what we had done with our lives, Pemby indicated that he was very comfortably off, with a house in Beverly Hills and although he never got spliced, he had loads of chicks virtually at his beck and call. And, he said, it all stemmed from his occupation.
In answer to what this fascinating occupation was, Pemby launched into a detailed description of how he got to the US and how things worked out for him. It was an enthralling tale of pieces just falling into place in the most serendipitous manner imaginable until he was kinda a ‘star’ in his own right. And now, even after all the years he had been at it, Pemby was still in demand and could command a sizeable fee for ‘appearances’ which, he said, he limited to just a few a year, spending the rest of his time traveling around the world with whichever chick of his choice was selected for the particular trip.
Java was showing signs of getting impatient to get to the bottom of the ‘occupation’ story, though I had already made a guess in my head as to what it would be. I mean, he did say Beverly Hills, right? And that’s where the movie stars and others in the entertainment biz reside. He also mentioned the loads of chicks he had access to, and flashing back to school days I had a good idea why! And then of course there was that mention of ‘appearances’. I knew I had to be right, but waited for Pemby to finish his story in his own style and time.
And finally, Pemby told us about how he had continued dabbling in the theatre-arts field through junior college and then at UCLA and paid his way with the earnings he got working at popular porn-video store on Sunset and with a few ‘bit-parts in art films’ – as he put it. Anyway, to make a long story short, Pemby went from ‘bit-parts in art films’ to getting his fertile imagination working overtime and ‘performing’ with his ‘art’ – until he made a name for himself and got to where he is right now. He gave us his website and we promised to access it to check out his history and accomplishments as we finished our drinks and headed out of the Bareass Bar together, promising to keep in touch.
Back home once more, Java’s at the laptop.
Heeey maaan, check dis sheet out.
And there it was: ‘Pemberton Pottifer – Performance Artiste Extraordinaire With A Difference – Next Performance (at the Louvre) Sold Out’. It appeared that Pemby specialized in setting fabric to esoteric music from the middle-ages and was one of the most successful performance artistes around.
How about that!